SISTERS, Ore.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Azure Standard distributes more than 13,000 healthy foods, organic products and earth-friendly household items through its trucking network in 38 states. Laird Superfood is an Oregon–based startup company that sells organic coffee and related superfood-enriched products. The new distribution deal includes four different types of Laird’s organic Peruvian coffee as well as their Superfood Creamer that recently won the Product of the Year Award at Expo East, the second-largest natural foods show in the country.
“We’ve been approached by many major distributors, but we chose to partner with Azure for a variety of reasons”
The partnership between Azure Standard and Laird Superfood represents a significant breakthrough for both companies. For the first time in Azure’s 30-year history, they can now offer coffee that meets the company’s strict product standards. And for Laird Superfood, the Azure distribution deal allows them to expand their reach without sacrificing their core values.
“We’ve been approached by many major distributors, but we chose to partner with Azure for a variety of reasons,” said Paul Hodge, CEO of Laird Superfood. “First and foremost, we think alike. We share the same values about the importance of nutrient-dense foods, environmental responsibility and a more efficient, streamlined food chain. Plus, they have a business model that supports the little guys, so the numbers make sense. And finally, they’re just good folks to work with.”
Laird Hamilton is a world-famous big wave surfer and a life-long coffee connoisseur. He and his team have traveled the world, tasting coffee from hundreds of regions on six different continents.
At Laird Superfood they start with high-altitude Peruvian coffee beans that are shade-grown and hand-picked for perfect ripeness. These SHB Class beans are superior to lowland beans in flavor, plus they have the lowest acidity level of any coffee bean. The beans are wet processed, rested and slow roasted using a drum roaster which preserves the true flavor and ensures even roasting.
But the quality of the roast means nothing if the coffee is stale by the time it reaches your kitchen.
“Coffee does not have a very long shelf life,” Hodge said. “That’s why so many local roasters limit their distribution. It starts losing its aroma almost immediately, and the flavor deteriorates significantly after just two weeks in the package. The only way to guarantee freshness is to eliminate the coffee’s exposure to oxygen, and we’re one of the only companies that can do that.”
Laird’s proprietary packaging system removes the oxygen from the package and flushes it with food-grade nitrogen.
But packaging isn’t the only innovation from Hamilton’s company. Laird Superfood Creamer is a dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free coffee and beverage enhancer. The powdered creamer combines a blend of coconut milk powder, coconut sugar and Aquamin™ with coconut oil, and in partnership with Healthy Habitats and Palm Done Right, sustainably sourced organic red palm oils from Ecuador. When mixed in a cup of Laird Superfood coffee, the result is a smooth, coconut mocha-like drink that’s loaded with nutrition.
“I’m a fan of the ketogenic diet, so I was looking for ways to add healthy fats to my coffee,” Laird Hamilton said. “Coconut water is the only sports drink I use, so we started with that. Then we discovered Aquamin, and I knew we were onto something. Now it’s our biggest seller.”
Aquamin, often called “nature’s perfect calcium,” is derived from red sea algae harvested off coast of Iceland and Ireland. This rare form of algae has a unique structure, which some believe allows the minerals contained within to be better absorbed. Additionally, Aquamin is very high in calcium, magnesium and 70 other trace marine minerals; many of which are hard to find in the standard American diet.
Laird Superfood offers both organic whole bean coffee and ground coffee, in espresso roast, medium roast and decaf. They also have a tasty blend of instant coffee mixed with their superfood creamer called Instafuel. No matter which variety you choose, the result is a cup of coffee with the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and bitter notes.